"I heard a scream and the shark was just chomping on his body and the body was in half just off the rocks here.”
A little over a year ago, a swimmer, a vet from the West’s misadventure in Afghanistan, was hit and killed by a fifteen-foot Great White shark at Little Bay, a few clicks south of Maroubra beach in Sydney’s south-east.
Simon Nellist, who was thirty-five, was practising for an upcoming charity swim when the White hit from below, attacking while onlookers watched and filmed from rocks a few metres away.
Fisherman Kris Linto said he saw the White attack.
“The shark came and attacked them vertically,” Linto told Nine News. “We heard a yell and then turned around. [The splash] looked like a car just landed in the water.”
Another fisherman said the man was in front of him when he was dragged underwater by the Great White.
When he went down there were so many splashes. It was terrible. I am shaking,” he told ABC news. I keep vomiting. It’s very, very upsetting. He just …enjoying the day, but that shark took his life.”
There’s a video kicking around of the attack but y’probably want to avoid.
Here’s some of the dialogue.
“Someone just got eaten by a shark. Oh man! Oh no! That’s insane. That’s a Great White shark.”
“The person’s still there!”
“I just saw a four to five metre great white explode on the surface just here on a swimmer and it was like a car landing in the water.”
“Fuck man, I heard a scream and the shark was just chomping on his body and the body was in half just off the rocks here.”
“It came back and swallowed parts of his body and that was it. It disappeared.”
Half of Nellist’s body was recovered.
Ironically, six months earlier Nellist posted on Facebook, “Shark net and drum lines protect no one and kill all kinds of marine life each year.”
It was the first fatal shark attack in Sydney since 1963 when the actress Marcia Hathaway, legs as delicate as a crane’s and let’s not be coy here fine jutting breasts clearly created by God, was hit in Sydney Harbour although not, as you know, the first, or last, fatal Great White attack in Australia where the fish has been afforded federal protection since 1999.
Now, the International Shark Attack file has, inexplicably, at least on the surface, labelled the attack a “provoked incident” for the purposes of its macabre ledger.
“While Mr Nellist did nothing consciously to provoke an incident, he was swimming in an area where people were fishing,” Gavin Naylor, director for the Florida Programme for Shark Research, wrote in an email to the Shark Bytes YouTube channel. “Fishing is an activity that draws sharks in. We therefore consider it provoked for our purposes… Any factor that draws sharks to an area (fishing, chumming, scalloping, etc) or behaviour that goads the shark, riding them, petting them, feeding them (you might be surprised what people do!) are thought to induce behaviours that are not typical.”
Relatives say Nellist’s mother was left wondering “how could he return from the frontline (of Afghanistan) unscathed to then go to Australia, go out for a swim and get killed.”